» When hiring a lawyer it is important to know if he/she has an area of legal expertise, and what percentage of current cases fall within that category.

» In civil cases, you need to know if the lawyer acts only for injured plaintiffs or for defendant insurance companies as well. Levels of courtroom experience are also important if the case cannot settle and goes to court.

» Fees for legal services should be discussed openly with your lawyer who can put the arrangement in writing. Fee arrangements include:

  • Hourly rates set by the lawyer.
  • Flat rates established for the entire action.
  • Contingency fees (where the lawyer receives a percentage of the final civil settlement).

Be sure to establish fee terms and conditions in advance and in writing.